Rockstart joins the Diversity Commitment

The accelerator-VC takes a proactive stance to drive higher diversity and inclusion standards within the startup and VC ecosystem

Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 8th, 2024: Rockstart, early stage accelerator-VC, announces its membership in the Copenhagen-based Diversity Commitment alongside EIFO,  Danske Bank, Fonden for Entreprenørskab, Danish Business Angels, and several other VCs. This decision reflects Rockstart’s acknowledgment of the gender equity challenges pervasive in the industry. Rockstart recognizes that achieving gender equity requires more than mere aspirations – it necessitates a concerted effort throughout the investment process and internal operations. 

The Diversity Commitment serves as a platform for driving awareness, fostering dialogue, and effecting tangible change in the crucial area of diversity. Since 2023, the community has expanded beyond Denmark to include data from the Nordics. As part of the commitment, Rockstart will measure and track gender representation, reporting annually through the Diversity Commitment on internal operations and investment processes, including dealflow. 

Rockstart understands that achieving industry-wide change requires a dual approach: empowering gender-balanced founder teams throughout its portfolio and addressing diversity within its own internal operations. Between 2022 and 2023, the company actively pursued the recruitment of a female COO to join its executive team. In September 2023, Anne Mette Frejsel was successfully onboarded, showcasing Rockstart’s commitment to advancing the company in terms of gender equity. Currently, within the Rockstart team, 54% identify as female, underscoring its dedication to gender diversity. The objective is not only to maintain this ratio but also to actively cultivate the promotion of more women into leadership positions.

In efforts to increase inclusivity, Rockstart has standardized its investment process, introduced gender data collection across dealflows and the investor pool, and has taken steps to diversify internal leadership roles. Additionally, in 2023, Rockstart classified its multi-year, EU-based funds as SFDR Article 8 (promoting environmental and social characteristics), and began gathering Principal Adverse Impact indicators and other DE&I indicators from all active portfolio companies. 

We're thrilled to have Rockstart join the Diversity Commitment community, helping us spread awareness and interest beyond the Nordic region. Rockstart has taken proactive steps to diversify its workforce, extending to leadership roles. This is crucial, considering the significant decline in diversity we've observed in positions of authority. Sharing insights on addressing diversity challenges is integral to the Diversity Commitment, and we eagerly anticipate exchanging knowledge with Rockstart. Stine Colding Alstrup, Founder & CEO, Intentional and the initiator of the Diversity Commitment
Solo female founders frequently encounter skepticism, yet Rockstart recognized the potential in my personal journey. Their acknowledgment of my ambitions has been transformative. Rockstart's involvement in initiatives such as the Diversity Commitment underscores its dedication to backing underrepresented founders and promoting diversity in the startup landscape. With Rockstart's support, solo founders like myself feel validated and empowered to navigate the challenges of the startup world with confidence. Celine Sandberg, Founder & CEO, Agroprene - Rockstart AgriFood portfolio company
We're proud of the gender balance we've achieved throughout our company, with 54% of our team members identifying as female. However, we acknowledge the importance of increasing diversity within decision-making roles. Having joined Rockstart in 2023, I’m a strong advocate for diversifying our leadership board and leveraging our talent to provide opportunities for gender-balanced teams. We remain committed to fostering a culture of inclusion where diverse perspectives are not only welcomed but actively sought after in shaping our strategic direction.  Anne Mette Frejsel, COO, Rockstart 
In line with a pervasive industry-wide challenge, Rockstart continues to pursue gender parity within founder and board teams as an ongoing goal. We recognize the imperative for concrete support for gender-balanced founders through strategic investing. We strive to ensure equal access to funding, opportunities, and support for female entrepreneurs. Our focus remains on continuous progress toward a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Rune Theill, CEO & Co-Founder, Rockstart 

Rockstart is dedicated to promoting gender equity and diversity, and ongoing efforts continue to provide valuable lessons in this regard. Recognizing the imperative for stronger diversity, Rockstart DEI 2024 plans to bolster representation across its team, diversify startup investments, foster inclusivity, implement tailored communication and marketing strategies, and prioritize transparency through initiatives like the Diversity Commitment.


About Agropene

Agropene is on a mission to develop a sustainable alternative to oil-based foam. Utilizing locally-sourced seaweed and crab shell waste, they revolutionized the material production landscape, directly combating the industry's carbon footprint.Agoprene produces sustainable biofoam. The startup was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in Barkåker, Vestfold, Norway.

About the Diversity Commitment

Diversity Commitment was initiated by the two entrepreneurs Liva Echwald and Stine Colding Alstrup as a part of their mission to build diverse companies and intentionally design for diversity.  Since 2023, the community has expanded beyond Denmark to include data from the Nordics. The partners who have defined and signed the goals of the Diversity Commitment are EIFO,  Danske Bank, Fonden for Entreprenørskab, Danish Business Angels, and VCs such PreSeed Ventures, by Founders, Noon Ventures etc.

About Rockstart

Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies.

Rockstart invests in early-stage startups from each of the three funds and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates, and the wider Rockstart network.

Rockstart has invested in more than 350 startups and its alumni value to date is more than €1.6bn. Rockstart is an international team of 45+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such asWercker,, Hubs.Com, Bouw7, iClinic, and s and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Bogota.

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